The past 6 months have been tough as you all have seen from my previous posts but I finally have something to celebrate and I’m so excited to share it with you!
This Saturday (9th February 2019) myself and Stuart will be celebrating 5 years of running Alchemy Therapy Centre! I can’t quite believe its been 5 years. The time has flown and I am so incredibly happy with where the business is and how I get to spend my days living a dream I have always had.
Don’t get me wrong it certainly hasn’t been the easiest thing I’ve done and opening at 21 I had many reservations if this would even work. Yet here we are 5 years on opening the doors into our 6th year of business.
I haven’t had much to celebrate recently but this is one of those things that has boosted my moral, made me realise how incredibly lucky I have been to have such a great opportunity in life to run my own salon and how grateful I am to everyone who has support us on a business and personal level over the past 5 years
We should celebrate even the smallest achievements along with the largest ones!
Only 4 months ago I was writing my achievements in my daily log stating “I managed to get out of bed today for 2 hours” and now I’m writing “celebrating 5 years of business”. Neither one or the other of these achievements are better than the other. They’re both huge achievements at different stages of my life. I really would advise everyone to write a monthly achievement log down just to run through all the things you have achieved over the past month! It’s incredibly empowering and can give you insight into all the amazing things you’ve done without even realising! Write the small things. Write the big things and everything in between. Some times the smallest achievements have the largest impact!
I’ll be opening the salon doors this weekend for our 5th year birthday party and I can’t wait to see you all! All our details can be found on our Facebook page or call me for more info 01908 567766.
Over the past few months I have been researching and planning a brand new treatment for you all to help reduce anxiety, depression and stress and below is what I have created!
Alchemy Stress buster massage.
A 45 minute scalp, neck, back and shoulder massage for £35. The best thing about this massage is it give you a chance to get some time in for you and it comes with a donation to charity! As I have wrote on my previous blogs, massage has a huge impact on helping to relieve the symptoms of mental stress and can improve your health and well being. Every time we perform one of our Alchemy Stress Buster massages at Alchemy we will donate £5 to Mind BLMK. A charity well known for supporting positive mental health and wellbeing. They are a fantastic charity and I am excited to be working with them in order to raise money for a cause that is so close to my heart. Had I not been through the experiences that I did in 2018 I would have never thought to introduce such an important and life changing treatment not just for you but for others too! Mental health is now something I am very passionate about and will use Alchemy as my platform to help others in need.
As you all know I get my regular weekly massages and have found them so beneficial to my mental health and always find it reduces my anxiety and brings me back down to earth. At the end of each month we will be donating £5 from every Alchemy Stress Buster Massage directly to Mind BLMK and will be posting regular updates on how much we have raised.
You can book these treatments with ALL the therapists at Alchemy including myself! I want to thank Mind BLMK for their personal support over the past 6 months and hope you will join me in supporting their cause further.
Today I want to talk about the 7 daily steps I take to improve my own mental health. These are things I’ve tried and tested over the past 6 months and these 7 are the ones I’ve found work best for me. Not all these things will be necessary to everyone and you may find you want to add things in and swap things out for other mental health steps but below are mine 😊
- Medication- currently this is the number one priority in my road to recovery and that is taking the medication prescribed by my doctor to help me progress in my journey. Not everyone needs medication and not everyone likes to take tablets that might change their moods and that’s absolutely fine, However in my case it was and still is a necessity. I hope to one day come off anti-anxiety medications but as it stands now I’m happy to take them 😊Be sure you speak often and thoroughly with your doctor so you can get the right medication for you and always, ALWAYS take as prescribed.
- Meditation- This has been a saving grace for me. I used to meditate on and off but often found it didn’t help me in the moment, so I gave up. I recently starting meditating again for 30 minutes every day before bed. Now, I’ve heard lots of people say they just don’t have the time to fit meditation in but there’s some great meditations you can find online that are only a minute long. Everyone can spare 1 minute out of their day to ground themselves and give a short amount of time for a break. It took me a long time to find the right types of meditation that worked for me and now that I’ve found it, I know I’ll never stop!
- CBT- Cognitive behavioural therapy. There is absolutely masses of information on CBT online if you don’t know what it means. The basic concept is to change the way our minds think and process information. Rather than thinking negatively or getting into downward spirals its about training our brain to think logically and structured in a much more positive way. Many times thoughts have popped into my head like “I’m not good enough” “I’m worthless” “I can’t do anything right” and so on and so forth. These types of thoughts are damaging and destructive. Not only are they things you would never say to a friend they’re certainly things you should never say to yourself! There’s plenty of ways you can use CBT to help you such as breathing, grounding, positive affirmations and positive writing. You just need to find the ones that work for you and in time those negative thoughts will leave and the positive ones will come.
- Exposure- One thing that massively impacts those who have anxiety is that it really prevents us from doing the things we want. It gets in the way of us truly living our lives because we end up so caught up in the fear of “what might happen” rather than what is happening. Exposure is about getting yourself to face the things that frighten you. It could be leaving the house, joining a club or anything at all! No matter how small or silly you think it might be it is something you can overcome! By taking small steps to expose yourself to things that make you anxious over time the anxiety lessens and it will be like you were never scared at all. Now although this is on my 7 daily tasks it isn’t necessarily something that is done every day. For me my goal is to leave the house every day and get some fresh air. I’m not frightened of being outside although when I was very unwell. I found it difficult to even leave my bedroom in fear of fainting. So now I make sure I get out and about every day so I never slip back into that feeling again! It’s important that any small step you take towards facing a fear is a huge victory compared to not trying at all 😊
- Relaxation- The best part of the day. The part of the day when I find myself spending some time to do things that are relaxing. For me personally that’s cross stitching, baking or writing in my bullet journal (more on that in a future blog). It’s a time of the day to reset, spend some time on yourself and reflect on what really matters to you in your life. Relaxing things are different to everyone, Some people find going to the gym relaxing or cleaning the cupboards. It really is anything YOU want to do rather than what you feel you HAVE to do. We aren’t built to be on the go all the time and this is often where mental health issues such as anxiety stem from because we are too busy working and living our lives to suit others that we forget to look after ourselves. That’s why relaxation. Daily. Is so important!
- Sunlamp- With this cold and damp weather it’s easy for us to slip into feeling miserable and wanting to spend all our time inside and cosied up. It makes tasks more difficult and mundane when the weather is not great. I was recommended a sunlamp to help with vitamin D. These are amazing for anyone who suffers from Seasonal affective disorder. You sit in front of your lamp for 30 minutes per day and it helps increase the vitamin D in your body, makes you feel more energised and less sluggish. You can use it when you’re getting ready for work. Doing your make-up, Eating your breakfast or on your lunch break at work. It really doesn’t matter when or where you use it as long as you use it! I love mine and I use it every day without fail.
- Vitamins- Our bodies just don’t store enough of the vitamins that we really need. Every day I take vitamins to help improve my strength, my mind and my body in general. I am trained in the knowledge of how important vitamins are but not everybody knows! Get yourself some vitamins. Do some research and find out the ones that will work best for you and any concerns you might have that just need a little extra help.
All these steps are things I try and do every day. They’re second nature to me now and I don’t have to think about doing then as they just subconsciously fit into my day due to habit. They make me feel good, they make me feel happy and I know they’re all good at improving my mental well being and who wouldn’t want that!
If you have any questions about anything in my blog today feel free to contact me. I hope you manage to find you daily steps to mental health whether it’s 1 thing or 10 things.
Good luck and thank you for reading!
Christmas is amazing, but it can also be stressful, having a negative impact on your mental health. I’ve been there and over the years I’ve developed some steps I use in daily life to release that stress and keep me focused on the great things going on in life. I hope my tips will help you get through the holiday period feeling fab and hit January with your sanity intact.
5 ways to stay calm over Christmas
1. Be kind to yourself. Breathe. Relax. Rejuvenate.
Christmas can be a stressful time of year. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to buy the perfect gift. Host the perfect meal and ensure everyone else has a good time.Take the time you have off to enjoy the things you like. If that’s an activity, a pamper or just relaxing in front of the tv then do it! Make some time for yourself this year as well as everyone else!
2. Don’t compare. Take the pressure off.
A lot of times we can become engrossed in what other people are doing for their Christmas and we end up adding pressure onto ourselves. Purchase things people really would like and not just a gift based on how much money you think they want you to spend. Also, social media can put way too much pressure on us to be perfect! That perfect social media post your glamourous friend posted in front of the perfect tree probably took 50 attempts and 3 hours to get and ended in a massive family argument. Life is real and social media only gives you a glimpse into someone’s life, the part that they want you to see. Not the full picture, so don’t compare!
3. Be grateful.
Not everyone has buckets of money to spare around Christmas time and this is one of the biggest causes of stress for most people. Being grateful for all you receive no matter how big or small can really take the pressure off yourself and others. Rather than expending your energy on worrying what you got people or what they’ve got you just be grateful for the things you have and not for the things you don’t.
4. Be the bigger person.
If you feel stressed around Christmas, you can imagine most other people do to. With big family get togethers fall outs are bound to happen. Be the bigger person and empathise when people are stressed. Lend a helping hand to those in need and most importantly walk away from the drama. It will make your Christmas a lot more enjoyable.
5. Enjoy it.
Christmas only comes once a year and it’s a time for enjoyment. Family. Giving and fun. Try your best to enjoy every moment and if things don’t go to plan don’t stress just go with the flow. Spend wisely. Relax and rest. It’s the most wonderful time of the year after all so make the most of it!
I was amazed at the support I received from my return to work blog last week. Thank you so much for all your responses and taking the time to read my blog about where I’ve been the past few months. It’s been wonderful having people reach out, share their stories and relate to me.
It truly has touched me and made me realise how wonderful people can be!
I am on the mend taking each day as it comes and getting stronger and stronger! I think the most important thing I’ve learnt during this process is to take the pressure off yourself. When we end up in states of depression and anxiety it’s easy to feel guilty and bad for the people around us. But what we need to do is go inside ourselves. Look after our bodies and our minds. This is something I’ve been doing non stop every day for the past 3 months and trust me it works. I am not my usual self and have a long way to go with good days and bad days but with the tips I’ve been provided with I’m getting there.
Simple ways of doing this are by accepting the way that you feel. Giving your body the nutrients that it needs. Breathing. Meditating. Doing things you enjoy. Talking to people and regular massages.
The regular massages have massively helped me as they help to rebalance the toxins in the body. Reduce depression and anxiety. Lift mood. Remove physical tension and relax you. I’ve had one every week for the past few months and I definitely notice an improvement. It’s also a nice excuse just to have some pamper time.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is also one of the best things I’ve felt that has aided my recovery. Seeing a private therapist on a weekly basis and being provided with daily techniques I can use makes a huge impact. I’m not a therapist but i have learnt some really great tips I’m happy to share with you all!
Don’t forget for my return and to all those who need a little help we are offering half price 30 minute massages for £14 up until Christmas just call us on 01908 567766 or visit http://www.alchemytherapycentre.com